Writer's Statement by Adam Ganz

I was delighted to be invited by Marc to co-write The Filmmaker's House with him. Marc is a friend and colleague and I have long been an admirer of his work. The collaboration began when he showed me some early material, which I found exciting and moving. I felt it raised profound questions about identity and performance, and other and self, and simply how we need other people and what we can expect from them, and from ourselves.

 

That began a conversation about the characters, their fictional identities and the possibilities of the story. Marc shared his conceptual and theoretical inspirations, in particular the idea of hospitality, as discussed in Derridá’s essay which is quoted at the very end of the film. We talked a lot about the notion that there are two places where the film takes place and thus two sites for hospitality, the filmmaker’s house and the filmmaker’s camera- (the word is derived from the Latin word for room.)

 

Just as the various characters pass through the house with hopes and expectations so too they are invited into Marc’s frame with needs and questions which may or may not be fulfilled. And just as Derridá posits that a genuine act of hospitality involves risk and exchange, so too does an honest relationship between filmmaker and subject.

 

Working on the film together was a continuation of the kinds of conversations Marc and I have about projects and life.  We discussed what characters might say or do and the implications, we shared suggestions of things to read and films to watch. We exchanged emails and phone calls and WhatsApp messages, watched cuts together, and as is only proper for a film about hospitality we ate meals together and drank wine.

 

It was wonderful to be involved in a project where we would discuss script options in the evening and look at rushes the next day. Occasionally as I walked back from Marc’s house to the Tube, I would bump into one of the characters and he would ask me how the editing was coming along. The world has changed immeasurably since the film was made but I think the themes of trust, neighbourliness and what responsibility we have for others have become all the more important. We need more stories like this one.

 

I feel very proud of having contributed to the finished film and that I’ve learned a great deal from working with Marc, and with all our collaborators who gave so generously of themselves. I hope others will enjoy their stay in The Filmmaker's House as much as I did.

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